Posted on April 1, 2020 in ATSC News
Tom Barbeau, vice president of engineering at Comark, has done it all.
He started out in the defense and aerospace industries as an electrical engineer working on guidance components. Since then, he’s worked image encoding for a high-speed OCR manufacturer and print recognition company, written transmitter control system code for Comark, and involved with MPEG, among other jobs, all before ending up back at Comark.
Of his myriad experiences throughout his career, Barbeau said the most fun moment he had was going up in the WBTV tower in 2000.
“Standing in a little elevator like that and looking down and around while standing there was just completely different,” Barbeau said. “I garnered a whole different level of respect for the tower crews.”
In terms of his involvement with ATSC 3.0, Barbeau said he and Hitachi-Comark first got involved based on their experience with the initial ATSC 1.0 rollout.
“In the original rollout, there were lots of pieces to the system rolling around but little in the way of a cohesive, validated eco-system and system education,” Barbeau said.
Thus, he said, Comark Digital Services sprung out of that need. Now with ATSC 3.0 rolling out, Barbeau said, they have relaunched CDS to fill that void once again. He said they have great partners and as such they can field a complete solution from the cameras all the way through the broadcast chain to the antenna.
“ATSC 3.0 is by definition a disruption technology,” Barbeau said.
He said ATSC 3.0 will be used the same way traditional linear TV is, and it will allow broadcasters to become more sophisticated with their OTT, VOD and targeted ad applications, adding it will also allow them to carry data for third party application like self-driving cars. Yet Barbeau said he thinks the real game-changing application, whatever it may be, is still out there.
“I do not think the real killer app has been identified yet, although lots of people are trying,” he said.
But the next game-changing app isn’t the only thing Barbeau is interested in finding. Currently, an item high on his bucket list is finding a car to replace his 1984 Supra P-Type in the garage.
A long-time car aficionado, Barbeau said was initially interested in high-end audio systems before he had the realization he would need to have a car someday as opposed to a several thousand-dollar stereo.
Reading about the new cars and their technologies, some of which were really invented 100 years ago, has always fascinated Barbeau.
“If I had the wherewithal, I would be a Jay Leno kind of car guy,” Barbeau said. “He doesn’t chase after any particular brand or model. He goes for the interesting cars made even more interesting because they have a good story.”
Posted in ATSC News
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